Up until this post, I’ve been absent on Tiny Writers for over two weeks. Don’t judge me because I have a reason: I am a big procrastinator who always makes excuses for not doing things he should do. To me, procrastination is a dreadful monster.
See? I’ve just made an excuse.
Worse, I have a dozen of excuses for why I put off writing. Some of them are:
- Two weeks ago I visited my mother’s hometown, and I stayed there for four days. I was busy hanging out with my relatives all day long, so I didn’t write
- When coming back to my house, I found out that the modem had been broken. Because I couldn’t access the Internet, I didn’t write (I know that sounds silly, but I need to read others’ articles to be inspired to write)
- I was a bit tired (my inner procrastinator even claimed that I was exhausted) for some days due to my lack of sleep. Those days I always said this to myself, “I’ll write when I bounce back.” The result? I didn’t write
I can go on and on about excuses, but I’d better stop before I bore you to death.
Okay, enough kidding around! Now comes a serious question exclusively for you: Are you a procrastinator?
Don’t be shy to admit the truth, buddy! I know you are.
Procrastination happens to almost all professionals: writers, entrepreneurs, freelancers, developers, to name but a few.
Whatever profession you are in, your career and your potential might be hindered by procrastination if you don’t handle it well.
Fortunately, I have good news to break: there are 16 ways to beat procrastination.
Keep on reading! I’m going to unravel all these ways in no time.
- Be disciplined. It’s easier said than done, but you must be disciplined to overcome procrastination
- Don’t give yourself too much free time. Embrace the busy-ness
- Get rid of perfectionism. Don’t strive to be perfect at everything
- Let go of your expectations and do tasks for the sake of finishing them
- Work tirelessly. Jump into another task right after you’ve completed one
- Block access to the Internet while you’re working. Strip away the unnecessary distractions to fully focus on the tasks at hand
- Make a to-do list. Put the most urgent task at the top of the list
- Have someone hold you accountable. That someone can be your close friend, your boyfriend or girlfriend, or your spouse
- Write must-do tasks in notepads and stick them all over your house
- Set a deadline for each task. Trust me, you’ll work faster and more efficient when a deadline is looming.
- Freewrite in longhand to address why you’ve procrastinated
- Think about rewards and punishments. If you finish a task, reward yourself. If you procrastinate, you know a punishment is waiting for you
- Right after rising in the morning, envision things you’ll do in the day. Try to imagine steps to do those things as vivid as possible
- Create a trigger. For instance, crank up one of your favorite songs then start writing. Do that at least three times to make your brain unconsciously get used to the trigger. From then on, you’ll have the urge to write every time you hear the song
- Make everything available before working on daunting tasks. That way, you can’t find any excuse to procrastinate
- Let the rhythm of the rain tune out the noisy world out there
- Tell a friend about things you’re going to do and ask him or her to mock at you if you put off doing those things
- Whenever you’ve done brushing teeth, stand still in front of the mirror looking at your reflection and say this affirmation out loud, “I am productive. I am a prolific [write your profession here]”
- Work in bursts. Learn and practice the Pomodoro Technique to get more done: knuckle down to a task for 25 minutes, then take a break for 5 minutes; rinse and repeat the 25/5-minute cycle
Don’t feel bad about yourself for being a procrastinator. Instead, be patient and be willing to try one way at a time. Sooner or later, you’ll know which ways work best for you.
For more inspiration to beat procrastination, I insist on reading the following articles:
Do you have your ways of fighting against procrastination? Please share it in the comments.